Texas-based UBH Denton, or University Behavioral Health, stays abreast of the most current diagnostic instruments available to mental health professionals. No single tool used in isolation can provide a complete picture of an individual’s makeup. Instead, using various tests and indicators in conjunction is more likely to produce an accurate assessment and thus lead to better care for the clients UBH Denton serves.
The Nine Components of Mental Health can be one of many effective diagnostic tools. According to the book, Pocket Guide to Interpersonal Neurobiology: an Integrative Handbook of the Mind, by Daniel J. Siegel M.D., the Nine Components outline the various ways in which one’s mental health can be examined. Mental health, says UBH Denton, is a complex system of interrelating parts, with no one piece taking precedence over another. More important are the ways in which the pieces function, or fail to, as a whole. The components can be understood first as single issues:
• Body Regulation: This term refers to the body’s various biological systems that work together and impact one’s reactions and behaviors. Both formal measurements (like heart rate) and informal observations (like sweaty palms) can indicate emotions such as anxiety and fear. Further, chemical interactions in the brain are related to many disorders such as depression and schizophrenia.
• Attuned Communication: The ability to communicate is a large portion of what allows individuals to be social creatures. Communication is more than just talking and listening, however. It also involves pragmatic aspects such as eye contact, nodding, and taking turns in a conversation. Social cues, such as those that alert one that his listener is bored or shocked, may be absent or faulty in individuals with mental health issues.
• Emotional Balance: Emotions are a natural part of an individual’s makeup. How any one person copes with those emotions is highly varied and unique. In response to life’s pleasures and stressors, feelings can fluctuate greatly throughout a given day. However, for optimal mental health, there are boundaries within those fluctuations. Highs that swing too high or lows that last too long can be indicators of mental health problems.
• Response Flexibility: This component of mental health refers to one’s ability to choose and follow through with a reasonable course of action to a life event, big or small. The quality of response flexibility lies in the choosing aspect of one’s behavior. A person who stops and thinks before acting and speaking shows signs of a healthier mental status than one who acts on impulse or loses his temper often.
• Fear Modulation: The lack of ability to modulate the amount of fear one feels is a sign of dysfunction and can be an indication of an anxiety-related disorder.
• Insight: An insightful person is one who is able to view the totality as well as the pieces of his life experiences and try to make sense of it all in context. He can reflect upon his past, learn from his mistakes, and develop an increasing degree of self-awareness. According to UBH Denton, great insight is a sign of robust mental health.
•Empathy: Most individuals feel and express concern for others on a regular basis. The healthier individual strives for a high degree of empathy and as a result feels strongly connected to others. Someone who struggles to empathize may be suffering from some mental health issues.
• Morality: Considered a higher level of thinking of functioning, one who has strong moral convictions understands his obligation to be a contributing member of society and strives to decide and act toward the greater good.
• Intuition: Intuition is a non-measurable entity, but people usually know whether they are intuitive and to what degree. Intuition is the ability to recognize one’s instincts about a person or situation. The mentally healthy person has a connection to his intuition and uses it in a positive and balanced manner to inform his thoughts and actions.
UBH Denton Discusses Ways These Factors Determine Treatment
These nine components are comprised of not only physical attributes and reactions, but to one’s emotional state and social habits as well. These parts work together to make a whole person. UBH Denton notes that when any piece is dysfunctional, it may well affect other pieces. Many disorders are related to several categories of functioning simultaneously. For example, an Autism Spectrum Disorder often affects one’s ability to regulate his emotions, impacts his sensory/neurological perceptions, and alters his methods and quality of communication.
One of the chief concerns of the staff and administration at UBH Denton is to evolve with the newest research on mental health issues. Utilizing the most appropriate, accurate, and well-designed assessment tools plays a large role in reaching their goal of providing client-centered care tailored to the needs of each unique individual who seeks their services.
UBH Denton, or University Behavioral Health, founded in 2005, is a private psychiatric clinic in North Texas that offers a wide variety of mental health services, both inpatient and outpatient. UBH’s client base is diverse, presenting with a wide range of issues and spanning in age from childhood to senior citizens.